Is Linux Mint the most popular desktop distro?

Today in Open Source: Is Linux Mint the most popular Linux distribution? Plus: Running iTunes in Ubuntu, and the PlayStation 4 uses FreeBSD

Is Linux Mint the most popular distro?

I bumped into a very interesting article about Linux Mint from back in May. It covers the history of Linux Mint, and it got me wondering if Linux Mint has become the most popular Linux distro.

For many, Linux Mint is the last bastion of non-commercialised Linux; an environment whereby they can still enjoy the pleasures of the desktop, without having to follow the trend of living in a tabletised world.

For others, Mint has become the very best example of what a Linux desktop should be: fast, easy, pleasing to the eye, useful and productive. Others, still, see Mint as the ideal desktop for Windows refugees, or those who are trying out Linux for the first time, and want an operating system that essentially works 'out of the box', playing any number of media files from a variety of sources.


More at Tech RadarHat Tip: Reddit Linux

Who knew when Linux Mint started out that it would give Ubuntu itself a run for its money? The article notes the negative reaction to Ubuntu's Unity desktop, and the many dissatisfied Ubuntu users that switched to Linux Mint.

Think I'm kidding about that? Take a look at the screenshot below from DistroWatch's rankings. Linux Mint is listed in the number one spot, beating out Ubuntu itself. I know a number of people who abandoned Ubuntu immediately when Unity was released, and they haven't looked back since switching to Linux Mint.

Image credit: Tech Radar

Do you think that Linux Mint has become the most popular desktop distro? What makes it so attractive to so many people? Tell me in the comments below.

Using iTunes with Ubuntu

The NY Times had a Q&A about using iTunes with Ubuntu.

Q. I have an iPad 2. Can I install iTunes on my laptop if it’s running Ubuntu Linux?

A. Apple does not offer a version of its iTunes media-management software specifically for the Linux operating system. Depending on what you want to do, though, you may not need iTunes to manage and sync the data on the iPad.

Some determined users have coaxed the Windows version of iTunes to run on Linux with compatibility software like Wine ( and PlayOn ( This approach may take tinkering, technical fiddling and patience to get results, but you can find online forums and advice around the web.

More at NY Times

I'm not sure, frankly, how many Linux users would want to use iTunes on their systems. But the NY Times article contains some helpful links to get you started if you are interested in doing so.

The PlayStation 4 uses FreeBSD kernel

Phoronix is reporting that the PlayStation 4 does, in fact, use the FreeBSD kernel.

However, for those that missed it, this Sony Computer Entertainment page mentions all of the open-source software used by the production PlayStation 4. On that web-page, the FreeBSD Kernel is listed along with some of the other FreeBSD software components.

Other open-source software worth mentioning that's used in the PlayStation 4 is the Cairo library, eglib, libcompiler-rt, libcxxrt, libjpeg-turbo, Lua, Mono VM & Class Libraries, the Pixman renderering library, and WebKit.

More at Phoronix

I gave up on console gaming years ago, but I still found it interesting that Sony is using FreeBSD and some other open source software. I guess they're smart enough to know where to go to get the good stuff for their gaming systems.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

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